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South Downs at risk from Lyme Disease

The disease is transmitted by ticks Credit: ITV

Scientists at the University of Brighton are warning that the South Downs National Park is one of the country's top ten hot spots for Lyme Disease, caused by ticks.

A study carried out by the university will map where the insects and bacteria that cause Lyme Disease are distributed.

The disease is transmitted to humans by tick bites and, if untreated, can cause serious diseases including meningitis.

More babies at risk from whooping cough

There has been a large increase in the number of cases Credit: ITV

Thousands of pregnant women are putting their babies at risk by not getting vaccinated against whooping cough, according to NHS England. The warning comes as cases of the highly infectious illness have risen by more than 25% across the South.

Despite the rise, women are still not being vaccinated with 40% of pregnant women not taking the protection it offers to their new born child.

Whooping cough is an infection which can cause serious breathing difficulties, particularly in babies and young children. It can lead to major health complications, such as brain damage.

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VIDEO: 'A stranger stopped me killing myself'- mental health campaigner now helps others

Jonny Benjamin meets the stranger who saved his life Credit: ITV

A mentally ill man who was about to kill himself by jumping off a bridge was one of the key speakers at a special suicide prevention conference in Southampton.

World-renowned experts in the field of suicide were at St Mary's Stadium for the one day event organised by Southampton City and Hampshire County Councils.

29 year old Jonny Benjamin's life was saved by the kindness of a passing stranger and he now campaigns to stop others taking their own lives.

Kerry Swain was at the conference.

Kerry spoke to mental health campaigner Jonny Benjamin and Southampton street pastor Mandy Harding.

Johnny now counts the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge among his supporters Credit: ITV

Medical media star Dr Ranj backs breastfeeding campaign

Credit: ITV

Mums can breastfeed comfortably and confidently in Medway – that’s the message behind a new campaign to normalise breastfeeding locally.

Beside You, supported by Medway’s own medical TV personality Dr Ranj, launched today following the success of a teaser video released last month, which has been viewed more than 375,000 times.

Library pictures- mothers breastfeeding in Sussex Credit: PA

The video which can be viewed here shows a mum breastfeeding in a coffee shop in Gillingham and it highlighted her self-conscious thought process, before revealing the true thoughts of the people around her who were in support of her decision to feed her baby publicly.

Credit: Best Beginnings website

Medway Council is working in partnership with Best Beginnings to deliver the campaign designed to support mums who are unsure about breastfeeding away from home.

Mothers, mums to be, dads, members of the community and business owners will all have access to a whole host of useful information and resources about breastfeeding on a brand new website.

From advice on how to breastfeed to details of places in Medway which have been recommended by local mums as breastfeeding friendly, it will all be available here

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Whooping cough cases rise by 25% in the South

Cases of highly infectious whooping cough have increased by 25% across the south, posing a serious risk to babies and young infants.

But, despite this rise, thousands of women are still not being vaccinated, with 40% of pregnant women not taking the protection it offers to their new born child.

Whooping cough can lead to major health complications such as brain damage and pneumonia and can be fatal. Credit: Reuters

A regional campaign has begun to raise awareness of the risks and promote uptake of the vaccine among pregnant women.

Whooping cough – known medically as pertussis - is an infection which can create serious breathing difficulties, particularly in babies and young children.

1141
cases of whooping cough in the South in 2014
14
Babies died in 2012 following a whopping cough infection

“People often think of whooping cough as an illness from days gone by – but it is a real threat to babies and young children right now and can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and even death."

– Dr Nigel Acheson, Regional Medical Director

New appeal to improve children's cancer care unit

Credit: ITV news

Staff and patients at Southampton's university hospitals are calling for help to support a final push to transform its pioneering children's cancer centre. Work on the £1.7 million scheme to renovate and expand the unit at Southampton Children's Hospital - one of only 20 specialist paediatric oncology units in the UK - began in April.

The plans include eight single beds with en-suites, a new bathroom and wet room for parents, refurbishment of corridors and bays, consultation and quiet rooms, and a kitchen for parents. All designs for the new unit were developed in collaboration with current and former patients and their families. Although the majority of the fundraising target has been met, a further £150,000 is needed to complete the appeal, with the final push launched during September to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The unit, which sees more than 120 new patients a year from across the south, was opened in 1988. In that time, it has become a national and European centre of excellence for neuroblastoma and the development of immunotherapy treatments. The additional beds provided by the refurbishment offer the potential for the unit to take part in more clinical studies and the opportunity for children from outside the region to come to the hospital for treatments which are not available in other centres.

Despite the high quality of clinical care and research expertise we offer, providing a better environment for our young patients and their families is essential to the future of our unit. We know that changing the environment does not take away the stress of a child being diagnosed with cancer, but we do know parent facilities and the provision of more single rooms just makes life a little more bearable for families at a very difficult time. When finished, this project will ensure we can give everyone a greater degree of privacy, dignity and personal space and provide a unit which offers both quality in care and its facilities."

– Senior sister Leigh Shaw

Public asked to help hospital appeal

The public is being asked to help the appeal Credit: ITV

Staff and patients at Southampton’s University Hospitals are urging members of the public to support a final push to help transform its pioneering children’s cancer centre.

Work on the £1.7 million scheme to renovate and expand the Piam Brown unit at Southampton Children’s Hospital – one of only 20 specialist paediatric oncology units in the UK – began in April.

Initially launched as a £1.13 million refurbishment solely by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, it was later extended to incorporate an additional £550,000 achieved through a fundraising drive led by Southampton Hospital Charity.

Although the majority of the fundraising target has been met, a further £150,000 is needed to complete the appeal, with the final push launched during September to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

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